You and your child have chosen a Fun-Schooling Core Journal…what’s next? The core journals include “Spelling Time” pages that will have your child looking in books, around the house, etc., for words with the specified criteria, such as a certain number of letters. What seems like a game to your child is a very clever way to have her reading more in her books and learning to spell a variety a words! You can make it more fun by “hunting” with them or turn the activity into a “treasure hunt” by hiding words and giving your child clues to follow to find them! By doing this your child will learn to spell many random words. To reinforce his/her overall spelling abilities, though, the next journal you should choose is a spelling journal.
Fun-Schooling Spelling Journals don’t teach spelling in the usual, boring way (flash cards and writing words multiple times.) These journals make spelling FUN by using art, puzzles, poetry, creative writing, coloring, logic, and more. The methods used in these journals work very well for children with ADHD, ASD, Dyslexia, or anyone who has trouble memorizing multiple words. It’s also an excellent way for children without learning issues to learn to spell!!
But what if my child doesn’t like to draw or color?
This is a valid question I get asked often by parents. My grandson doesn’t enjoy drawing or coloring much either. One of the things I love best about most (if not all) of the Fun-Schooling journals is that it’s so easy to add to or change any of the existing directions to make them a perfect fit for your child! Instead of coloring all of the spelling words, I might have him color the beginning letter, a specific letter, all the vowels, etc. He will still be looking over the whole word, just not coloring it! In place of drawing, I may have him print a picture off the internet or cut one out of a magazine (most thrift stores have a good selection of old magazines, including ones such as National Geographic, that are perfect for this) and tape/paste them in the journal. Sometimes I may have him write in some facts about whatever it’s asking him to draw, or even write a few questions in for him to answer! It’s YOUR homeschool…make these journals YOURS!!
The Thinking Tree has a variety of spelling journals. Here are some of them:
“The Four Seasons Spelling Time” helps your child master 150 words, including the months, seasons, and weather-related words, using art and logic. Your child will read poems; fill in missing words/letters; color; write stories using the words; create calendars; and more! It’s recommended for 2nd, 3rd, & 4th grades, but could be used for slightly younger advanced children and/or older children.
**Pressing on the pictures of any of the journals on this page will take you to the Amazon link.
The Thinking Tree also makes these three “Animals & Instruments Spelling Time” Journals. All three of these books have the same words which include a name, animal, instrument, place, and adjective. Level C adds a verb to each letter. Example: “Luke, lion, lute, loyal, Liechtenstein” then Level C adds “laugh”
We just got Level C and I can’t wait for my grandson to start schooling again in August!
- Level A above is for ages 3-7 and is meant to be done with a parent or older sibling. At this level the child should color the words and pictures of the animals and instruments, while focusing on the beginning letters and their sounds. At the back of the book, there are pages for creative writing (with assistance) using some of the spelling words and word searches. It’s never too early to encourage your children to make up stories. You can prompt them, take turns telling what happens next, etc., then either write it for them in the journals or write it on another piece of paper for them to copy into the journals. Start simple with 2-3 sentences, then gradually increase the length of the stories!
• Level B is for ages 8-10 (or older if your child is having trouble with spelling.) Once your child colors the words and pictures, the next two pages have the words with letters missing for your child to fill in and a page for her to draw the animal or instrument. In the back are creative writing pages and word searches. At this age, they still may need some help/encouragement with the creative writing, just have them do as much as possible themselves!
- Level C is for ages 10+. Your child will color the words (a verb has been added to each letter at this level), color the picture, and write 5 facts about it. At the top of the 3rd page is a sentence using the words (for example: “Alan the amazing aardvark plays the accordion in Argentina”) Underneath he will fill in the missing letters and write the definitions of “amazing” and “applaud” (the adjective and verb.) On the opposite page he will write 5 facts about the instrument, then draw the instrument or animal. The next two pages ask him to make 10 new words from the letters in the spelling words and make a map of the country and write 5 facts about it. This pattern will continue for every letter. In the back are creative writing prompts and a place to illustrate; spelling practice where he is asked to circle words with a certain number of letters and pages to write all the animals; then all the instruments, places, names, adjectives, or verbs; word searches; and more! Not only will he be mastering spelling words, but he will also be touching on grammar (parts of speech;) science (learning about various animals;) music (learning about different instruments;) and geography/social studies (learning about different places and cultures.)
Below are some sample pages from Level C:
For each letter, he will complete similar pages.
Sample pages from the back of the Level C journal:
The journal we used for Spelling this past year was “Spelling Time – Master the Top 150 Misspelled Words” for children ages 10+. Your child will color words; fill in missing letters and words; color pictures; write silly sentences using as many words as they can; practice writing the words; doodle the words; and create short stories using the words. As I mentioned above, my grandson is not the biggest fan of coloring, so I may have him just color the beginning letters, the vowels, a certain letter in each word, or even just circle the vowels or something similar instead of coloring the whole word. If he wants to skip coloring the pictures that’s fine. I may ask him to write a sentence about the picture instead or color them myself! I included some pictures of the inside pages.
I can’t decide which Spelling journal is my favorite, but I really like this next one! It’s for ages 5+ and I would even use it for my grandson (15!) This book starts off with poems that have words to color, then has the same poems with missing words to fill in; pictures for your child to write 5 words to describe; pages to search for words with different numbers of letters, then draw a picture; make words using certain letters/all letters; create comics; creative writing; and fun pages! I included some pictures of the inside pages…
Inside page examples…
“Teach Your Child 100 Words to Read, Write, Spell & Draw” is meant for beginning or struggling readers and children with Dyslexia. This journal is very small (4.9″ x 6.3″) and is for ages 5+. It has poems with words and a corresponding animal picture to color and draw its food and habitat; pages to fill in missing words, draw animals, write stories (with help if needed), and practice writing the words; etc.
Do you have a dinosaur lover in your house? This book is also small (5″ x 6.2″) and is for ages 6+. It’s for beginning or struggling readers and children with Dyslexia. Parents should read the poems and have their child repeat them after reading several times. There are pages to color words and pictures; draw foods and habitats; fill in missing words; draw missing parts of the pictures; complete logic puzzles; and write poems and stories (parents assist when necessary.)
For a Spelling book that also focuses on Cursive and Handwriting, you would want to choose this pocket-size (5″ x 6.5″) journal! It’s for ages 8+, teaches over 175 words, and works well for creative students who have Dyslexia, ASD, or ADHD! Parents should go over the poems with their children until they have memorized the words. They will then color words and pictures; write the poems; develop characters and draw comics; make up their own poems; draw missing parts of pictures; find words starting with certain letters; practice cursive; and more!
Here are some of the other Fun-Schooling Spelling journals that are available.
Word Hunt 1, 2, and 3 are from Dyslexia Games Series A, B, and C respectively. If you are using Dyslexia Games, there is no need to purchase a separate spelling journal! Here is a link to the website for more information:
Let’s not forget our littlest loves! This journal is for 3-6 year olds and will help them learn how to write and say their letters; help them with letter sounds; and spell simple words.
This one includes letters and numbers, animals, art, and logic. It’s for ages 2-6.
There are a few other spelling journals that can be viewed on “The Thinking Tree Branch” Website. Once you are on the website, pressing on the pictures will take you to Amazon, pressing on the journal names is blue letters will take you to a written review with pictures and/or a video review. Thank you, Linda Beltran, for all your hard work in creating and maintaining “The Branch” website!
ENJOY YOUR SPELLING ADVENTURE!